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  #1  
Old 08-13-2004, 01:45 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 404
Set up to cast bullets, cost?


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I am thinking of casting bullets. What would it cost to start casting bullets, not a cheap set up, but not the most expensive set either? I am talking about molds, melting pod, bullet sizer and whatever else you need, (which you will need to list because I don't know). I can get wheel weights for lead, but I will need everything else. I want to start casting bullets for a 35 Marlin.
Thanks,
Taylor
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Old 08-13-2004, 05:36 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,878
Taylor
Casting bullets is like getting married. It's not the intitial costs, it's residuals and upgrades. Throw in the occasional divorce and off spring. Well you know what I mean, get rid of the original firearm, which means you need to get some more gear and what happens when you get tired of, or think you can do better with some other design the original mold, so you get another, etc.
I'd bet you could get most everything you need, Lyman, Saeco, RCBS which ever company makes the mold design you like, a sizer luber from Saeco, Lyman or RCBS, the sizing die and nose punch, 20 lb melting pot from RCBS or Lyman, the bullet lube and the case neck expander, Lyman 'M' die, mold handles, should cost you under $400.00.
If you are patient you can pickup stuff on Ebay.
Go to yard sales or Salvation Army and find a cast iron dutch oven for melting scap in, like wheel weights. You can use an old camp stove to melt the scrap with.
Don't forget to buy some welders gauntlets and safety glasses or face shield, designate an old cotton long sleeve shirt to cast in, flannel in the winter. I even have a pair old broken down hunting boots to wear, so the cuffs of my pants over hang the boot tops. Almost forgot a hammer handle or leather/plastic mallet for whacking the sprue plate.
Molten lead leaves a burned hole in what ever portion of your carcass it lands on.
Jim
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2004, 05:12 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Cuero, TX
Posts: 3,484
Taylor...

I started casting this year and bought Lee equipment through Bose's...

Pro 4-20 Pot... $54
Ingot Mold... $9
Ladle... $2

The best prices I've found on the Lee Molds have been through MidwayUSA...

Single Cavity Molds... $14
Double Cavity Molds... $18
Six Cavity Molds... $35
Handles for Six Cavity Molds... $12
Lube and Size Kits... $12

Interest in both the 35 Rem and 444 Marlin brought me to casting my own bullets. I was sorely disappointed in the availability of bullet designs for both calibers. I wanted a bullet with a WideFlatNose (WFN) and I just couldn't find a commercially produced mold that had the design in the weight I was interested in.

As far as a rifle bullet for the 35 Rem, Lee doesn't have one. RCBS has a design but it is .001" undersized for the Marlin, the meplat is too small and I wanted a 180 to 185-grain bullet. SAECO offers a .35 caliber bullet but it isn't designed for the 35 Rem.

I went through the drill of special ordering molds through Lee for the 444 Marlin and was very please with the way that things turned out. I need to work through it with the 30-30 Win, 35 Rem and 375 Win but that is down the road. Basically, special order molds will cost you about $50 each if you order 4. I found enough interest in the 444 mold design that the cost dropped to the MSRP of $25 for the individual molds. I did have to sink $600 into the project as I didn't want any money up front until I saw the final product. The cost of Lee special order products includes the shipping but I had to charge everyone $5 to ship the molds from my address.

You can custom order molds through Mountain Molds for $60 each plus shipping. It is a lot of fun and a learning experience to poke around on that site.

Like reloading... you end up spending a lot of coin on different things that you never planned on or thought about. I wanted to mention my thoughts on molds as I know you posted your interest in a black bear hunt with the 35 Rem using BTB. That's the point I wanted to make about casting and the molds. There are a lot of pistol mold designs that you can make due with but to place the hunting performance of a home cast bullet up against a product like the Beartooth Bullet is going to take a lot of effort and some coin. The satisfaction of accomplishment is very much worth it in my opinion but it is an effort. I love my BTBs and cycle a lot of them through my rifles. I enjoy trying to make a bullet that meets the expectations of that product but it takes a certain amount of effort to do so.

Marshall is a real tease... He just sent me a box of bullets that will make a 45 ACP (my favorite handgun) a real hog killer. Shame on you Marshall, you know that it is going to drive me crazy as I try to duplicate you effort....
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